First Week Fun!

Exhausted.  Utterly exhausted.  Every bone in my body aches.  My feet literally feel like someone took them off my body and completed a marathon before attaching them back to my legs (because, let's get real... this body does not partake in running so someone would literally have to saw my feet off in order for them to run a race!).  

My tan has faded.  My workouts are nonexistent.  The bags under my eyes are back in full swing.

It's definitely the first week back, can you tell?!  I'm in my tenth year of teaching and I can tell now more than ever that my body doesn't remember what it felt like to be in the twenties!  I'm getting old, y'all!

Thankfully we've had a really good week so far and we've been able to accomplish a lot in a little amount of time.  We've gone over the procedures, gotten to know one another, and talked a lot about being a good friend and student.  We'll finish off the week fine-tuning everything so that we can get 100% started with curriculum on Monday!

My students loved reading The Recess Queen and completing this writing activity from Smitten With First!

Today we read "How Full Is Your Bucket?" and talked about filling up each other's bucket!  I've had zero time to make a cute chart, so this had to do!

Then, we wrote 3 ways that we could fill a friend's bucket.  They were supposed to write in sentences, but apparently I didn't stress that enough, ha!  Thankfully we are working on that skill next week :)  You can download this activity here!

 The first day of school we read "Pirates Go To School" to go along with our school wide theme.  We made these pirates from Babbling Abby.  They look so stinkin' cute hanging up in our hallway!

 Today we tackled our Student Generated Alphabet.  This is a big undertaking every year, but I always love the impact it makes in my classroom.  I decided to do things a little differently this year.  I put my students with a partner and gave them between 2-3 letters to focus on.  We did a little word/alphabet scavenger hunt around the school.  They took one of the iPads with them, a sticky note with their focus letters, and walked the hallways of our school.  So, if they had the letter B they may have taken pictures of a broom, bow, and brick.  They could take as many pictures possible as long as the object started with their focus letter.  When we got back to the room they searched through their pictures, decided which one to illustrate, and got to work!  It definitely helped having the pictures when it came to illustrating!  They were a little too chatty in the halls, but I wanted to incorporate technology and a school tour somehow!
 I have learned to be very picky when it comes to these drawings because they are going to hang up all year long.  I am very thorough in my instructions because I don't want any scribbling or sloppy work!  
 They also finished up their Spanish alphabet!  We can now check those off of the to-do list!
Phew!  I'm even more exhausted now!  I really do love my new group of kids.  They are so precious and loving.  I can tell it's going to be a wonderful year!  I'm going to go eat fast food and take Joelle to church!  Then it's bedtime, folks!

First Week Plans

I wanted to pop in before my first week of school and share my plans with you.  I spent the day yesterday copying and prepping all of our first week activities.  Hopefully I didn't forget anything important because 7:00 sure is going to come early on Monday morning!

These plans were definitely created for my use, so I didn't do a whole lot of explaining... sorry in advance :)  However, if you click HERE you will find links embedded that lead you to certain activities.  If I didn't link it then it's something that I just have from my files or something I will share later on.
These are the books I chose for our first week!  I know there are so many good ones out there... I have dozens on standby just in case we have a few spare seconds here or there :)
I'm excited about our new school year, but already sooooo exhausted!!!  Time to go tackle those last minute tasks before the kiddos come tomorrow :)

Meet the Teacher

Last night was Meet the Teacher Night.  I truly love everything about a new school year when it comes to what is happening in a classroom.  I can't say that I love waking up early, going to 5,000 meetings, or using the restroom once a day, BUT I do love new beginnings with a new group of students!

I'm sure your Meet the Teacher is the same as ours... the families parade in, students find their desk and locker (this year I let my students choose their lockers, that was a huge release of my inner control freak thank you very much!), sort out their supplies (so that I don't have to spend my last free weekend doing so), and fill out paperwork.  This year our district went to online registration so the paperwork was much lighter than years past!

One of my favorite things about Meet the Teacher Night is seeing my former students.  I absolutely LOVE when they come to see me and try not to tear up when I've noticed they grew 7 inches over the summer, are now holding cell phones, and have full-teeth smiles!  I may or may not have told them to sneak over to my room to give me hugs... and that their 3rd grade teacher passes out spankins on the first day so they can escape to my room if need be ;)

I'll do a classroom tour and go into those details later... right now I barely have the energy to move my fingers across the keyboard, ha!
On my teacher table I had a little section for parents to visit.  I found THIS Parent Wish freebie from the Lemonade Stand and THIS Classroom Wishlist freebie from Firstie Kidoodles!
 They had several things on their desks.  I did organize it nicer than this, but I wanted you to see what all I used!
1.  Pirate Treat
(With graphics from:  From the Pond, KG Fonts)
6.  Instructions for the night

To sort out supplies I just grab old tubs that I don't currently use around my room.  Since I don't tape my labels down I can use them from year to year.  This year Joelle and Mr. Lemons were hanging out in my room so they helped me clean all of my supply stacks up before I left last night!
Ready for my new crop of kiddos!
 In the front entrance to the school I put together this Welcome Back Display.  It was super simple and made a big impact!  Here's what I did:

I printed the letters for Welcome Back (Font:  MTF Jumpin Jack) on black and white paper and cut those out.  I got 11 sheets of large construction paper and drew doodle borders around each one.  You can't see that, but it's there :).  Then, I hot-glued the white letter on first to give a shadow look.  The black letter was hot-glued on top... a little to the side and either up or down.  To hang the letters I stapled yarn across two walls, grabbed some clothespins and hung away!  I think we will leave it up for the first few days of school and then I'll easily be able to take it down because I only have two sets of staples to remove!
Now to actually think about what I'm doing next week when those kiddos enter my door!

Treating the Teachers!

I went back to work yesterday and I took a couple of things with me to treat our teaching staff...

For the bathroom I put together a Survival Kit with lotion, spray deodorant, hairspray, mouthwash, air freshener, static guard, a lint roller, and tide pen.  If you are anything like me you look like a total mess by lunch.  Sometimes you just need a little mid-day pick me up, right??!!
 Do you find yourselves eating with sporks more often than not??!  I decided that our teachers should be able to eat with actual forks and spoons, ha!  So, I made a little basket of Lounge Luxuries for our staff!  I also added toothpicks, salt/pepper, and sweetener.
You can find the tags above HERE and HERE!

I also decided to shine a little positivity through adding bright decorations in our common spaces.  I decorated our staff bathroom (but didn't take pictures, so sorry!)  and our workroom...

Goodness, the polka dots look really intense in these pictures, but in person it is much more subtle!  I added a pennant banner from Target... also I ran out of border so I added these punch out letters/numbers from Mardel.  To make "Choose Joy" I typed one letter per page using the font MTF Jumping Jax.  I printed those on colored paper and cut them out one at a time!  Nothing fancy here, ha!
 On the opposite side of he workroom I made this bulletin board.  I added inspirational quotes from Hope King!
Tomorrow I am going to work on my final board in the lounge.  I cut out over 35 letters for that one, so I'm really ready to put it up, ha!  I also printed out these pretty prints from Michelle Oakes!  They will be the perfect thing to bring a little positivity to our eating space!
I've barely had time to breathe let alone get things ready for next week, so I'm super pumped about the TpT sale tomorrow!  You can grab all of those things you've been wanting for 28% off!
I sure do love this clipart I used from Rebecca B Designs!!

I'm off to crash because I'm already one #tiredteacher!

2nd Grade Math Overview

This weekend I have been working on mapping out my year in math.  I wanted to share with you what a year in 2nd grade math might look like from week to week.  This overview is more of a perfect world for me.  It's not exactly how my year will look since I will follow what my district put in place, but it's pretty close to what I'll be doing!  I took what I've done in the past, moved things around, and put it into one little document for you :).  You can click HERE to download this 2nd Grade Math Overview.  Honestly, I'm not so sure I'll be doing these to share for ELA because I'm still trying to wrap my head around it all!

If you download this overview and open it in Adobe then you will find that the titles and words are clickable so you can see what I'll be using to teach these things this year!  I'm hoping to make a few new math units also.  On my to-do list:  graphing unit, multiplication and division word problems, adding and subtracting without algorithms

I also hope to update my multiplication and measurement units before those standards come up!

Stock the Fridge for the Staff!

Our teachers start back to school on Monday, August 17th.  Although I try my darndest not to drink sodas anymore I decided that caffeine was a *must purchase* for our staff.  We all know how hard it is to wake up AND get dressed after being in sweats with a messy bun for 2 months straight, right??!!  So, we went to Wal Mart and loaded up our cart with sodas, water bottles, straws, and drink mixtures and filled up our staff fridge :)
 If you are looking to bring a little liquid happiness to your staff, feel free to use the sign below!  You definitely want people to know they can grab a soda and it won't be considered stealing someone else's lunch :)).  You can grab the sign HERE!
Now it's time to enjoy those last few moments of summer :)))

Teacher Tips!

My teacher life will officially resume on Monday morning around 8ish.  It's so hard to believe that the summer is coming to an end... in less than a few days!  Thankfully, my room is pretty much ready to go.  Now I need to work on my year-at-a-glance and first week plans!  As I was putting a few finishing touches around my room today I snapped some pictures to share with you... teacher tips style!

Before we begin, I've put all of the things I'll mention into one easy download for you.  You can grab that HERE.  Like I said before, I so wish I had the time to make a gajillion different color and table options, but I just don't... so sorry!

Alrighty, first up...
I've been doing this for several years now.  During the first week of school I want my kiddos to be reading, but I haven't necessarily taught library procedures yet.  So, I put easy reads in buckets on their table.  That way they can grab a book if they finish work early, but they won't tear up my library before learning my expectations.  I rotate the books every morning so that they get a new set of books each day!  I teach the library procedures pretty early on, but these book buckets always help!  The buckets are from Big Lots.  They didn't have yellow, so we used yellow's brother... orange ;)  The labels are included in the download I mentioned above!

I love sitting my students in table teams.  Also, I have them labeled by table and number.  Sometimes I just call the color... sometimes the number.  Really, it's just whatever comes out of my mouth, ha!  I learned a couple of years ago to just do both because I always would forget which table was which otherwise!  This year I bought Neat Seats so that my tables would be more uniform.  I had mismatching chairs that always drove me nuts!  I also added lanterns with tassels above each table {from School Girl Style} to add a little fun!!

My next tip is all about spreading a little sunshine throughout your campus.  This year I am leading our Sunshine Committee as well as our Appreciation Days/Weeks.  The Sunshine Committee will do things like host monthly potlucks, surprise treats for the staff, and things like that.  We will also host all of the staff appreciation celebrations.  I have some fun things planned, but more on that later!  My assistant principal always does a couple of fun bulletin boards throughout our office.  This year I told her to let me know what she wants, and I will make it happen.  So, we decided on a "positive praise" board where the staff will write nice notes to one another such as "Thanks to Mrs. D for lending a helping hand in the cafeteria today!"  or "The lesson Mr. J planned for science was so much fun!"  That's the Sunshine Wall you see above.  The second board we decided on was a photo collage board for our staff.  That's where we will take/print pictures throughout the year so that we can see what's going on in other classrooms!  I'm super excited about both of these boards because they are fun to look at and easy to maintain!  Plus, when you go to the bathroom you can't help but smile as you walk by a sunny backdrop :)  The cloud paper and pennant are from Mardel.  The words are in the download I mentioned above.  I made the sun out of crinkled butcher paper!

My last little tip is all about fun finds!  I'm constantly on the look out for things that could find a new home in my classroom... I'm sure you do the same, right?!  It's just really hard to turn that teacher brain off!!  This year I decided that I wanted to add even more reading areas to my classroom.  So, I have placed many rugs and pillows around my room to make reading more comfy and cozy!  All of these rugs and pillows were found on the cheap at Wal Mart and Big Lots.  There's just no need to spend a ton of money!!  And, that blue chair??!!  Found it at KROGER...say what??!!  I was grocery shopping and ran across that gem!!  Perfection!

I also LOVE my new birthday chair covers from JNLsewcute!  They are currently living on my computer chairs so that I won't forget about them.  They sure do add a touch of cuteness to some ugly chairs!

And, that filing cabinet... such an eye sore.  I didn't want to paint or cover it, well, because... I'm a lazy one!  So, I found these magnets from Teacher Created and they worked perfectly!  I added a label to the top, some magnets, and voila!  Now, it's not so bad to look at :)

I'm off to enjoy my last weekend!  Bye, friends!!!